North to Alaska and beyond!!

Written by Ivan on September 8th, 2010. Posted in Trips and journeys

We have just finalised planning a trip to the Arctic and Alaska in 2011.  We will be pulling our 5th Wheel in company with another couple driving a similar Dodge pulling a travel trailer (caravan). Departure date is the 10th July and we expect to be on the road for between 4 and 6 weeks.  One highlight of the journey will be driving the Dempster Highway which links Whitehorse in the Yukon with Inuvik which is in the Northwest Territories on the Arctic Ocean coast North of the Arctic Circle. The journey is timed to bisect the migration route of the Porcupine Herd, the world’s largest Caribou herd as it moves Westwards to summer calving grounds.


Written by Ivan on September 4th, 2010. Posted in Repairs and ongoing maintenance

Heading East on the Trans Canada Highway on Thursday to visit friends we experienced a rather unusual problem.  I was towing the 5th Wheel on the level at around 90 kph when the prop. shaft parted company with the rear axle.  Fortunatly I was able to quickly slip the transmission into neutral and coast into a pull off within 50 yards.  The large nut inside the rear yoke that holds the pinion yoke onto the pinion spline had come loose and the shaft had slid off the pinion.

The friends we were enroute to visit came out in their truck to pull the 5th wheel back to their place about an hour away and my good friend Matt set off from Horsefly (3 1/2 hours away) in his Dodge with a flat deck trailer to carry us back home.

2 Low Kit

Written by Ivan on July 19th, 2010. Posted in Kit and Equipment

I just discovered this inexpensive ($45) kit which enables me to select low ratio on the transfer box without selecting 4 wheel drive.  The ability to do this makes reversing in confined spaces so much easier as the load on the steering is greatly reduced. I highly recommend this for anybody that tows a trailer of any sort.

The kit consists of an illuminated electrical switch, a vacuum switch and some vacuum line.  Engaging 4 wheel drive low ratio is activated by moving a floor mounted lever forward from the 2 wheel drive position.  Engagement is achieved using vacuum to unlock 2 W D and lock 4 W D.  By turning on the switch prior to moving the lever 2 W D is prevented from unlocking and 4 W D is prevented from locking thus enabling low ratio in 2 W D.  Fitting took about 35 minutes most of which was taken up routing the electrical cable through the firewall.

Front Bumper

Written by Ivan on February 12th, 2010. Posted in Future plans

On my return from Mexico at the end of March I plan to design and build a new front bumper incorporating Fog & Driving Lamps and, possibly, a hidden winch.

Change of plans, I found out about this company at the truck meet last month so I called them and had this made in Idaho picked it up on the way home today and fitted it at the fabricators.


Exterior and Interior additions

Written by Ivan on January 21st, 2010. Posted in Kit and Equipment

Custom rear bumper


Fibreglass Canopy, Wheel arch flares and wide alloy wheels with Toyo Open Country AT’s 295-75R16


EGT, Transmission Temp. Turbo Boost, Fuel Pressure, WVO Tank Contents, Fuel Temp. Gauges.


Scangauge II (rectangular gauge above primary gauges) linked to on board computer via the OBD II port for digital readout of Coolant temp. (for changeover to WVO), Horsepower being produced, Accurate dynamic average fuel consumption and Speed adjusted for the larger tyres.


The last two weeks have seen me complete the list of items that I felt needed to be done before we depart for sunnier climes to the South:-

  1. Engine oil and filter change.
  2. Rear differential oil change together with new axle seals, pinion bearings and pinion oil seal.
  3. Front differential oil change.
  4. Transmission oil and filter change with band tightening.
  5. New shock absorbers fitted all round.
  6. New disk pads and brake shoes.
  7. New adjustable track arm and bushings.
  8. DSS Steering Stabilizer fitted to steering arm extension.
  9. SSI 3 turn Steering Box fitted.
  10. New Power Steering pump fitted.
  11. New front Ball Joints and Wheel Bearings fitted.
  12. Amber Turn Signal Lamps fitted to rear bumper.
  13. 600 litres of Waste Canola Oil filtered & de-watered.  390 litres in the tank, the rest in disposable cubies.
  14. A comprehensive tool and spares kit has been boxed and loaded.

This picture was taken in Idaho after fitting the new front bumper.  While in Arizona I took advantage of the warm weather and gave the old gal a good waxing.


Today I fitted a pair of Bushwacker D225 progressive rate front springs which improved the ride tremendously.  Tomorrow I will be fitting heated, power adjustable towing mirrors.

My back up 4 x 4

Written by Ivan on October 27th, 2009. Posted in Trips and journeys

My back up 4 x 4—-


reaches the places my other 4 x 4 does not reach!!!!